NOTICES - August 2017
From the Vicar’s Desk:
The first summer I was here I remember that the moment August ended it suddenly turned much cooler and began to rain. A friend said at the time that this "is the end of summer". I said that surely summer lasts through September, maybe even into October; but he was right. That was the end of summer and there would be eight months of grey, rainy days before we dared to hope for warm, bright, sunny days again. England, it seems, isn't North Carolina and if you aren't careful you could miss summer entirely if you aren't paying attention.
I can honestly say I don't miss 100 degree days and 90% humidity (what did those first English colonists think when they experienced their first American summer?), but I do so miss the endless days of sunshine and all the outdoor things you can do when it's properly summertime. With all the talk of climate change with record temperatures and endless rainfall, we are living through a period of uncertainty about our environment and the weather that shapes it. At long last we are beginning to see that the scientists are right about global warming and the threat it poses to our way of life. Our world is out of balance and we may be responsible. It is rather frightening looking to the future, knowing that what we experience as an inconvenience here has devastating effects elsewhere. Drought, famine, rising ocean levels will shape the future that we are leaving to our children and grand-children.
So what are we to do? Keep informed about climate change and the impact we make. Try to reduce our energy consumption, recycle, and spread the word because every little bit helps. One person can and does make a difference. Imagine what we could do together. If we try then the summer we all enjoy and long for won't become just a distant memory, but something for future generations to enjoy. I can't predict the future, either next week or fifty years from now, but I too hope to see long, warm days of sunshine to enjoy outdoors and at the seaside. Make the most of what comes and enjoy!
Thursday 3rd: Coffee Morning at 11.00am
Please note there will be no Knit and Natter nor Youth Service in August.
Church Hall painting work party -Saturday, 19th August:
In order to create a more desirable venue to hire, we are seeking volunteers to join a work party to assist decorating the Hall (painting, cleaning, etc.). We are also hoping to raise money to pay for new flooring and new blinds. If you are able to assist, please speak to Ruth or Hilary.
Feedback from PCC meeting (by Helen Dyke):
The St Barnabas Parochial Church Council meets in alternate months to discuss all matters relating to the running of the church. At our July meeting we discussed several key areas.
Finances. Our financial position has improved following an anonymous donation and the receipt of a Gift Aid claim and the recent stewardship campaign has led to an increase in donations. We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed. However, we are still spending more than we earn every month. Our parish share payment is two-thirds of our monthly out-goings, which makes it difficult to significantly decrease our spending. Instead we are looking at ways to increase our income. If anyone has any ideas about this, please do speak to a member of the PCC.
Mission Action Plan. We are working towards completing this document which describes how we want to reach out to those around us in the parish and grow as a church, both spiritually and in numbers. At the parish awayday, we identified 3 areas of focus: growing our own discipleship, increasing numbers of children and young people attending St Barnabas and evangelism / growing new Christians. In order to work towards the first of these, Father Michael will be hosting a weekly bible study after the Wednesday evening Communion service. This will be starting in September. In addition, we will be starting prayer triplets - there will be more information about this during services in the near future so watch this space. With regard to children and young people, our monthly youth service is becoming more established and Father Michael will be going to visit a Messy Church service at Epsom Christian Fellowship to find out more about this type of provision. We would very much like to run this service, aimed at young children and their parents, once a month at St Barnabas. We would also like to start running a crèche on 3rd Sundays so that we can offer more consistent provision for our youngest children. This means their parents can come to church knowing their children will be in safe hands while they are free to enjoy the service.
Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. We have a responsibility as a church and as individuals to make sure we are taking care of everyone who attends St Barnabas. Deborah Kind is our safeguarding officer: she, the churchwardens and Michael met at the end of the July to plan what actions we need to take to ensure we are meeting our responsibilities in this area.
Building and maintenance committee. This group has not met in the recent past and we are looking to re-instate it in a different form. This time, as before, the group will act as a sub-committee reporting to the PCC. Membership will be open to all members of the congregation and the wider St Barnabas "family". You don't have to be on PCC or even a regular attender to be part of the BMC, all you need is an interest in looking after the building and sharing ideas and skills that can help with this.
Our next meeting will be in September so if there are any issues you think we should know about, please speak to Father Michael, Helen Dyke or Sarah Ford or any member of the PCC.
Dates to remember:
1 September - 2pm: Knit and Natter
6 September - 8pm: Bible Study
16 September - 10am-12noon: Coffee morning and raffle in aid of St. Barnabas (hosted by Anne and David)
Friday 29 September - 10.30am: Macmillan Coffee Morning
Saturday 30 September - 7.30pm: Barn Dance
Sunday 1 October - 10.15am: Harvest Festival followed by barbecue with Uniformed Groups.
Thursday 7 - Sunday 10 December - Christmas Tree Festival
Christian Aid - organisers needed for 2018
Janet and Jenny, after eight years as coordinators, have decided to step down as overall organisers of Christian Aid Week, and make way for fresh inspiration. Please would you think and pray about whether God might be calling you to be part of a new organising team for next year's Christian Aid Week and let Janet know.
We run a Sunday School and crèche at St Barnabas on the second and fourth Sunday of every month and also on fifth Sundays, when these occur. It would be great to have more volunteers who would be willing to help out with these sessions regularly or on an occasional basis to cover services when regular helpers are not available. Please speak to Helen Dyke if you are interested or would like to know more about what is involved.
In addition, we are hoping to run a crèche for our smallest children every third Sunday. This will leave their parents free to participate fully in worship without having to worry about what their little ones are up to. If you would consider giving up your time in church to help with this every 3rd Sunday or less frequently, please speak to Helen Dyke.
Glass Doors: Our front doors have now been repaired – with many thanks to James Kind. We are looking for a few volunteers to take control of cleaning the doors on a regular basis! They are looking very sorry indeed as they mark so easily. We know they are very high and most people wouldn’t be able to manage the higher sections but it is the lower parts that require the most attention. They look so good when they are clean and even 15 minutes per week would help!
Churches Together in Epsom (CTiE):
From August, on the first Monday of every month at 9.15am, there will be ecumenical prayers for all the churches in Epsom at St. Martin's Church.
We are currently praying in particular for a new chair of CTiE for the new year and a new webmaster, but prayer for any concern of any of the Epsom churches is welcome.
Sunday 20th August at 3pm there will be a CTiE prayer walk round Epsom lasting about an hour, meeting at Dulshott Green between The Parade and Church Street, KT17 4PH. Everyone is welcome.
Thank you to everyone for updating your planned giving. We are pleased to report that we have had an increase of approximately £700 per month. Whilst this is good, we are still just about making ends meet and we would ask you all to continue praying for a way forward.
We are delighted to be having an infant baptism during the morning service on Sunday 13th August. This will be the first time in several years, so it would be a lovely welcome to the family, if we could have as many as possible of the regular congregation present.
Thanks to our loyal group of gardeners, our grounds are looking better each day that goes by. Take a stroll around.
Readers and Intercessors:
We need readers and intercessors for August and September. Please add your name to the list in the narthex if you are able to do one or more of the Sundays. Thank you.
Parish Prayer Chain: Together We Can Make a Difference
Birthdays this month:
- Ruth Mey
- Michael Roper
Sick List: Jim Middleton who is missing, for Charles, Paul and family, Darren and family, Stephen, Elain and Doreen.
Suggestions: If you have any suggestions or ideas for our monthly parish news then please speak to Michael, Hilary or Ruth.